Wildlife officials on Saturday rescued three exotic monkeys and a rare 3-month-old lion cub from traffickers in Kolkata. The animals were found in tightly sewed nylon shopping bags in a car.
Officials chased down an SUV, in which the animals were being transported, before dawn on Saturday. They were shocked to see a monkey come out of a bag when they cut it open.
The three people inside the car tried to escape but were arrested by officials. However, they were released on bail later. Wildlife officials have said they will challenge their bail.
Wildlife officials suspect the animals were smuggled from Bangladesh and were being taken to a zoo in western India.
The three monkeys are believed to be of rare species from Java and Indonesia. The lion cub is being described as Asiatic.
This is the first time in several years that West Bengal's Wildlife Crime Control Unit and the Centre's WildLife Crime Control Bureau have come across a lion cub being trafficked.
The animals may have been sedated for transportation. They were given Oral Rehydrtion Solution and food before being taken to a hospital of Kolkata's Alipore zoo.